Effortless Beamer Slideshows

I have always loved having my slides, for various talks, presentations, and lectures in an open and easy to use format and frankly hated using powerpoint. Powerpoint tends to bog down, have a horrible interface and generally suck out my soul. The downside is beamer, the standard slideshow package of LaTeX tends to be bulky requiring many many more lines of code than content, something LaTeX tries to avoid. The answer is PanDoc. PanDoc is a system for generating documents in one format and outputting them in another. It can also do slidewhows outputed as a beamer tex file or as one of several HTML slide show formats.


Mostly I use a very similar workflow to what I use for LaTeX. I use a makefile to compile, a PDF viewer with autoupdate to view the output (Skim.app on OSX), and vim to write the document.

My makefile looks like this:

pandoc -t beamer --template=default.beamer --variable fontsize=10pt -V theme=Darmstadt presentation.md -o output.pdf


Where the -t options specifies the output format, and the rest is mostly obvious. The one big change I made was using the following template file: default.beamer. Which removes the autoresizing of images from the template so that I can use inline LaTe X to fine tune image sizes.

Then a slide from my presentation looks like:

## Time series analysis
- Timeseries are much simpler than a full image and therefore easier to work on computationally
- We generate a time series based upon relevant features
- Shape
- Luma
- Color


You can still use the markdown code for images but I find it’s usually best to finetune it. Note that this will break compatibility for the html output but I don’t use that.

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